Here we are again: the thread where we discuss the games we are playing in 2024

The maze-like hub area in 1000xResist was a turn-off at first, but by the end of the game I loved it. You start off feeling like a stranger, but soon enough you figure out how to get from A to B and it’s an effective way to feel progression.

Anyway, I started playing Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, and I was happy to see that SEXY PUB PRISON is still in business. I’ve walked by that sign so many times in this series and I’m still not entirely sure what it is.

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honestly one of the more self-descriptive business names i’ve heard

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Finished Kingdom Hearts Final Mix. Almost feels like a weight off my shoulders, in a way, but honestly I really love the first Kingdom Hearts and it was nice to revisit those characters and worlds. Definitely think FM is a downgrade compared to the original game though (not a fan of the new Heartless or the retooled Synthesis recipes).

I’ve got like…five games I’m playing now but the one I want to talk about briefly is Nine Sols. This is a Taiwanese-developed action platformer that puts quite a bit of emphasis on combat, particularly parrying, but doesn’t require you to become an expert at it due to having independent adjustment scales in the settings for damage dealt and damage taken. You can customize how punishing you want the combat to be–in my case, I made it quite easy because I prefer the exploration/platforming more and because I’m mirroring to a TV and the delay is juuuuust enough that I have to be really, really precise with the button presses to parry properly.

The areas are big and full of secrets, the playable character is stylish and has the energy of a mid-50s dude just being Done with everything around him, and the overall designs of the characters and world are so lush. Someone else somewhere described it as “taopunk” and it makes good use of occasional 3D elements to grant this otherworldly feeling to aspects of the world. I’m not very far into the game yet but I can already tell it’s likely to end up in my list of favorite games.

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Haha, I felt the same way about Kingdom Hearts the last time I went through it. I love that game dearly, but I was tired of it by the time I finished it.

I’ve been hooked on Caves of Qud again, since the Spring Molting update came out. It’s the last update before the full 1.0 release of the game which was kind of shocking to hear. This game has been in early access for the nearly 10 years I’ve been playing it but it’s never felt that way. The game is the digital equivalent to reading an epic tome of a science fantasy adventure. So much meat on the bones and so much to dig into.

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three brief (grumbly, forgive me) writing observations from the queue:

  • I have finally landed on a way to describe Final Fantasy VII’s English translation: I often feel like I’m overhearing parts of a conversation that I am supposed to be included in

  • take a shot every time a sentence in Cyberpunk 2077 drops the first word in a way that is clearly intended to sound casual and slangy but inevitably misunderstands US English and sounds real weird instead

  • also on a total uncharacteristic lark, I decided to try Marvel’s Midnight Suns as I was able to get it for a coffee price and folks I respect really lauded it for its writing. I did play for about two evenings, and figured that while I have negative interest in modern-day Marvel, I sure did grow up with comic books as a big part of my life, and these are supposed to be the weird goth kids, so why not.

    gosh, the format is really cool. it wholly does the Fire Emblem: Three Houses strategy battle>chill out with your best bros>invest points in stuff>strategy battle> thing, but the (generic) high-quality assets (roughly about PS4 level, which is still pretty) and close camera really do go a long way in upping the chill factor. the battles are truly neat, a really fun system that melds turn-based strategy with light deckbuilding and very appropriate environmental stuff. the in-between chill sessions really do give you lots of fun things to do and people to hang with. Blade is cool.

    BUT. I do not see this whole “wow the writing is really such a great turn from the Marvel films” narrative I’ve been sold. the fact that this is what is considered refreshing from the MCU-ification of Marvel is not great. rather, it makes that house style feel oppressively inescapable. the costumes are MCU, the house clothes are so MCU they’re stuck in 2011, and it’s just quip city without end. everything is a quip, few things are funny – they err instead on cloying millennial “quirk.” and everything – everything – is accompanied by a blaring orchestral cue. a character farts in bed and it’ll get an orchestra behind it. as Summer Game Fest trailers have taught me, when everything is aggressively epic, nothing can be epic. there’s a lot to like here and none of this is offensively bad; it’s clean, it’s smooth. but I look forward to a day when Iron Man is allowed to be anything other than legally distinct Robert Downey Jr. just one more time

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totally agree about the Midnight Suns writing and I feel hoodwinked by the same praise. I like what Solomon is going for in emphasizing character and narrative, and I can chalk up how grating Midnight Suns was to it being comic book nerd shit. So I’m optimistic that his “gilmore girls” narrative rpg he’s working on (I dont know what gilmore girls is but it has to be better than the marvel cinematic universe) will be interesting

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I finished Hellblade 2, and it definitely lacks the impact of the first. I had very high hopes for this one when it was first announced, but it just doesn’t do anything as thematically cohesive and startling as its predecessor. What new material it brings to the table is swiped from every other triple-A game, and what it retains it does absolutely nothing to improve, or even in most cases use as well as before.

Hellblade 2 is not even the best “young woman sets out on a journey with voices in her head” game of 2024. INDIKA did something far more novel with the concept.

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gilmore girls owns

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Started Metro Exodus. I’m enjoying the exploration and all the clumsiness that’s involved. You have to push a button to wipe your visor and to change the filter on your gas mask. Weapons look duct taped together and they jam. Pneumatic guns need to be pumped with a button hold and trigger pulls. I don’t know anything about guns so it reminds me of using a super soaker.

Holy smokes the game has a ridiculous amount of dialogue tho. Every once in a while it makes me curiously go “I wonder where this is going” like when one of your buddies asks the only American in the group if he’s ever seen a live catfish. Most of it however is this weird cloying excitement like daddy’s just come home. They come in for the high five and say “Yay! Three cheers for Ayrtom!” as your in game wife tells you how much of a beast you are. Pretty annoying. I haven’t played the originals. Maybe it’s deserved

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look they have to get the implicit slavic ethnonationalism in there somehow

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I’m having a good time. Just not used to being celebrated like that

With Midnight Suns I’m surprised you were told that the writing is good lol. The main story scenes are insufferable if you find the films insufferable. With how controlling Disney are with their IPs I’m sure Firaxis had a laundry list of dos and dont’s with these characters.

Granted it gets better when you have your heart-to-hearts with each companion. They attempt a more genuine character stuff rather than aiming for cool guy quip city.

I think it’s an incredible game that flew a little bit under the radar. I kept this one saved on my console after beating it for awhile because it’s just fun running a couple of games a night.

Blade rules

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eventually I’ll get the hankering for kingdom hearts on PS2 again, and then I’ll complete some of the post game objectives in those games. or next time I’m on a NDS kick I’m going to play the two DS entriers with an AV out mod on my CRT.

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I’m partially kidding, but if you know what to look for (I unfortunately have this knowledge) you can pick up what said aggrieved czech/polish/russian/ukrainian tough guys, failed by the world, who nevertheless survive and repopulate it with their conventional families are putting down. :grimacing:

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I was wondering as I wrote if it was just me that heard the “but this one is different” narrative (writing-wise) through the grapevine, but sounds like yeso did, too – and I still wouldn’t be surprised at all to find some genuinely excellent stuff buried in there deeply. it’s definitely a very get-intoable game, but I think going into it with that expectation (and not really enjoying the MCU house style), the MCU veneer was a bit too thick for me to truck through

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Sheeesh, yeah the game definitely felt weird. Appreciate the insight

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I had heard the writing was bad in Midnight Suns before playing it, and mainly what I’d say is the first few hours are pretty bad. After that, whether by Stockholm Syndrome or not, you kind of get into a groove with the writing. If nothing else, there are several cool comic book-y action moments in the cutscenes that I thought went well with the Marvel melodrama, but the dialogue can definitely be a bit much at times. Iron Man insisting on calling Strange “Doctor Spooky” wasn’t funny the first time or the 100th time. On the bright side, I actually thought the main character OC was pretty cool which I didn’t expect.

One thing I’ll say though, against the grain here: I hated that version of Blade haha. My favorite character in the game was probably Magik, and her power set is also awesome.

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I played through Control and yeah, it was great. I didn’t get to finish any of the extra / spoilery stuff (was playing while crashing at my friend’s place), but i really did enjoy the ending. I fell for it. It was frustrating in ways that i don’t always enjoy, i don’t really like the “spawn a bunch of enemies in tight spots” kinds of difficulties, but that also made me get better. I rarely collect and read all extraneous lore drops but here i was very interested in it.

At some point i started to realize this is an incredible interpretation of a SMB2 Princess Peach game. The jumping, doors to different realities, it even had bomb-ombs and shy-guys.

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That’s a pimp groove butter!

I’m pretty sure the RGG developers are just putting random English words on these signs.

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kabukicho accurate

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